Meeting U.S. Energy Resource Needs

The Energy Resources Program of the U.S. Geological Survey

Panel to Review the U.S. Geological Survey's Energy Resources Program

Committee on Earth Resources

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1999



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--> Meeting U.S. Energy Resource Needs The Energy Resources Program of the U.S. Geological Survey Panel to Review the U.S. Geological Survey's Energy Resources Program Committee on Earth Resources Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1999

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--> NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior, under assistance award No. 1434-HQ-97-AG-01886. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. government. International Standard Book Number 0-309-06283-7 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) http://www.nap.edu Cover: Illustrations courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Academy Press. Copyright 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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--> PANEL TO REVIEW THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY'S ENERGY RESOURCES PROGRAM FRANKLIN M. ORR, JR., Chair, Stanford University, California VICKI J. COWART, Colorado Geological Survey, Denver JOHN C. CRELLING, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale JOEL DARMSTADTER, Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C. CHARLES G. GROAT, University of Texas at El Paso (resigned July 30, 1998) CLAUDIA J. HACKBARTH, Shell E&P Technology Company, Houston, Texas WILLIAM N. POUNDSTONE, Consolidation Coal Company (retired), North Palm Beach, Florida RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario REGINAL SPILLER, Frontera Resources, Houston, Texas JOHN E. TILTON, Colorado School of Mines, Golden NOEL TYLER, The University of Texas at Austin NRC Staff ANTHONY R. DE SOUZA, Study Director JUDITH L. ESTEP, Administrative Assistant

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--> COMMITTEE ON EARTH RESOURCES SUSAN M. LANDON, Chair, Thomasson Partner Associates, Denver, Colorado PAUL B. BARTON, JR., U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, emeritus CORALE L. BRIERLEY, Independent Consultant, Highlands Ranch, Colorado RODERICK G. EGGERT, Colorado School of Mines, Golden JAMES M. FUNK, Shell Continental Companies, Houston, Texas PERRY R. HAGENSTEIN, Resources Issues, Inc., Wayland, Massachusetts ALLEN L. HAMMOND, World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C. PAMELA D. LUTTRELL, Mobil, Dallas, Texas DIANNE R. NIELSON, Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Salt Lake City JILL D. PASTERIS, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri JONATHAN G. PRICE, Nevada Bureau of Mines & Geology, Reno RICHARD J. STEGEMEIER, Unocal Corporation, Brea, California, emeritus HUGH P. TAYLOR, JR., California Institute of Technology, Pasadena NOEL TYLER, The University of Texas at Austin MILTON H. WARD, Cyprus Amax Minerals Company, Englewood, Colorado NRC Staff CRAIG M. SCHIFFRIES, Director JUDITH L. ESTEP, Administrative Assistant

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--> BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES J. FREEMAN GILBERT, Chair, University of California, San Diego KENNETH I. DAUGHERTY, Marconi Information Systems, Reston, Virginia RICHARD S. FISKE, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. JAMES M. FUNK, Shell Continental Companies, Houston, Texas WILLIAM L. GRAF, Arizona State University, Tempe CHARLES G. GROAT, University of Texas, El Paso (resigned November 7, 1998) DONALD C. HANEY, Kentucky Geological Survey, Lexington RAYMOND JEANLOZ, University of California, Berkeley SUSAN M. KIDWELL, University of Chicago, Illinois SUSAN KIEFFER, Kieffer & Woo, Inc., Palgrave, Ontario PAMELA LUTTRELL, Mobil, Dallas, Texas J. BERNARD MINSTER, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California ALEXANDRA NAVROTSKY, University of California, Davis DIANNE R. NIELSON, Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Salt Lake City JILL D. PASTERIS, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri EDWARD C. ROY, JR., Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas EDWARD M. STOLPER, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena MILTON H. WARD, Cyprus Amax Minerals Company, Englewood, Colorado NRC Staff CRAIG M. SCHIFFRIES, Director WILLIAM E. BENSON, Senior Program Officer ANTHONY R. de SOUZA, Senior Program Officer TAMARA L. DICKINSON, Senior Program Officer ANNE M. LINN, Senior Program Officer THOMAS M. USSELMAN, Senior Program Officer VERNA J. BOWEN, Administrative Assistant JENNIFER T. ESTEP, Administrative Assistant JUDITH L. ESTEP, Administrative Assistant

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--> COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, Chair, University of Virginia, Charlottesville PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania JERRY F. FRANKLIN, University of Washington, Seattle B. JOHN GARRICK, PLG, Inc., Newport Beach, California THOMAS E. GRAEDEL, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut DEBRA KNOPMAN, Progressive Foundation, Washington, D.C. KAI N. LEE, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts JUDITH E. MCDOWELL, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts RICHARD A. MESERVE, Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C. HUGH C. MORRIS, Canadian Global Change Program, Delta, British Columbia RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario H. RONALD PULLIAM, University of Georgia, Athens THOMAS C. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida E-AN ZEN, University of Maryland, College Park MARY LOU ZOBACK, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California NRC Staff ROBERT M. HAMILTON, Executive Director GREGORY H. SYMMES, Assistant Executive Director JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative and Financial Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate MARQUITA SMITH, Administrative Assistant/Technology Analyst

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--> This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC's Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making their published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Harry M. Conger Homestake Mining Company Walnut Creek, California Roderick G. Eggert Colorado School of Mines Golden, Colorado Rhea Graham Consultant Placitas, New Mexico Steven Holditch S,A. Holditch and Associates College Station, Texas Susan Longacre Texaco Houston, Texas Hugh C. Morris Canadian Global Change Program Delta, British Columbia Dianne R. Nielson Utah Department of Environmental Quality Salt Lake City, Utah Thomas F. Torries West Virginia University Morgantown, West Virginia Although the individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the NRC.

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--> The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. If is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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--> Preface A decade ago, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Budget Justifications FY 1989 (DOI, 1988a) stated that the USGS energy program "is conducted to improve the understanding of the nature, distribution, and size of the national endowment of energy-related resources as a prerequisite to the formulation of an effective national energy policy and optimum development of energy resources" (p. GP-160). At the same time, a National Research Council (NRC) committee reviewed the USGS energy programs and commented that "effective and timely scientific information from these programs is needed to help the nation determine its energy options through the year 2000 and beyond" (NRC, 1988, p.17). Ten years later, as the year 2000 approaches, many of the issues addressed in that report are still timely, and the need for accurate information about energy resource options is every bit as great. The fact that the 1988 review considered many issues that are still relevant today is an indication that the time scales for changes in the energy mix are long, and the products of the USGS Energy Resources Program are important to the economic, environmental, and security future of the United States. This report examines the current state of the Energy Resources Program (ERP) in the USGS and offers suggestions for the future of the program. It was assembled based on the thoughtful evaluations and comments of the members of the panel, who shared their expertise, invested many hours in program review meetings, and reviewed carefully a succession of drafts of the report. It was a pleasure to work with them. The panel is also grateful to Dave Houseknecht and many members of the staff of the Energy Resources Program, who prepared cogent briefings about ERP activities and responded rapidly to every request for

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--> information from the panel. Finally, we are especially indebted to Tony de Souza, NRC staff director for the study, and his able assistant Judy Estep. Their efforts kept us organized and on track, and they contributed substantially to the final product. The talented group of people who contributed to this review made my job as chairman a pleasure to fulfill. LYNN ORR CHAIRMAN

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--> Contents     Executive Summary   1 1   Introduction   7     Context   7     Energy Resources Program   12     Study and Report   12 2   The Energy Resources Program: Settings, Mission, and Role   15     Program Setting   15     ERP Mission and Role   18     Appropriateness of ERP Mission   20 3   Program Balance   23     Current ERP Program   23     Energy Supply Options: A Portfolio Approach   24     Need for a Balanced Energy Portfolio   25     Other Issues of Balance   28     Summary   33 4   Future Program Effectiveness and Challenges   35     Program Effectiveness   36     Crosscutting Issues   41     Summary   48

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--> 5   Principal Findings and Recommendations   49     References   55 Appendix A:   Oral Presentations and Written Statements   59 Appendix B:   Biographical Sketches of Panel Members   61     Acronyms   67